294. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Greek Ambassador (Melas) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Allen), Department of State, Washington, January 23, 19561


  • Greek Elections and Cyprus

The Greek Ambassador said he was alarmed by the unity which the opposition parties and groups were showing and feared that they might be able to defeat Prime Minister Karamanlis. He implied that this unity was the result of high feelings in Greece over the Cyprus question and that these feelings in turn were caused by the way in which that question had been handled. He said he felt strongly that something positive must be accomplished on the Cyprus question before the elections if Mr. Karamanlis’ victory was to be assured. Mr. Allen said that we had already pushed the British government and that he was confident that at the EdenEisenhower meetings2 we would urge the British to make progress on the Cyprus question. Mr. Allen also said it would be unfortunate if the Greek Government [Page 562] allowed Archbishop Makarios to determine Greek foreign policy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He also read from the Makarios minutes of the MakariosHarding meeting of January 13.3 According to these minutes, Archbishop Makarios was willing to accept the phrase in the formula referring to “strategic considerations”, but not the phrase “treaty obligations”. Archbishop Makarios had repeatedly asked Governor Harding if the treaties referred to (NATO and Jordan) were not primarily strategic. Harding had almost conceded that they were. Makarios had then suggested that the phrase “strategic considerations” would cover the whole thing.

Ambassador Melas said the phrase “treaty obligations” was fundamentally unacceptable.

Mr. Wood suggested that if Makarios and Harding were able to agree that the two phrases really meant the same thing and one was acceptable to Makarios, he should then be able to agree to the other. The Turkish interest was also reemphasized.

Ambassador Melas then pleaded that something be done before the elections as he was very fearful of the outcome.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.00/1–2356. Secret. Drafted by Wood on January 24.
  2. Prime Minister Eden visited Washington January 30–February 1 for discussions with the President and Department of State officials. Cyprus was apparently not discussed.
  3. See Document 157.